OPEN POSITIONS / Conservation & Science Division / Conservation & Science Division Head

Conservation & Science Division Head

Details: Volunteer - Remote

Time Commitment: 10/hrs per week

Unit: Conservation & Science Division

Reports to: Executive Director

Contact: NSS Board,

Apply By: 06/30/2024


Founded in 1941, the NSS is the largest membership organization dedicated to caves & caving. Composed of over 8,000 members and 250+ local chapters - known as grottos - we connect cavers so they can explore, study and conserve caves worldwide.


Conservation & Science are central to the mission of the NSS and is a core function of the organization. The NSS is looking for an Division Head to successfully lead the Teams in this Division to achieve our approved 5-year Strategic Plan, which may include advising Teams on their goals, periodically participating in meetings, prioritizing effort, and ensuring teams have the resources they require. This Division ensures our membership has Conservation resources, grants, and a network of experts at their disposal. It also coordinates Cave Management activities pertaining to the NSS Nature Preserves, Cave Conservancies, and the Landowner Relations Network. Finally, all Science based research, publications, and monitoring teams will report into this Division. The Conservation & Science Division Head will report to the Executive Director (or Interim Executive Director) on Division activities quarterly and meet with them regularly (monthly or as needed). A successful Division Head has the management skills and experience to protect the interest of the Society, manage and resolve challenges, and instill respect and confidence across the team and membership.


  • Manage all Teams (Conservation, Cave Management, and Cave Science) and their Team Leads within the Conservation & Science Division.
  • Work hand in hand with the Executive Director (ED) to accomplish the Society’s mission.
  • Keep the ED informed of developments and issues promptly. Compile quarterly reporting from committees 30 days ahead of Board Meetings.
  • Guide Teams, ensuring alignment with the Strategic Plan and resource availability. When possible, attend Team meetings as an ex-officio member, via Zoom or in person.
  • Foster Team spirit by inspiring and recognizing efforts of teammates. Develop and update—with Board approval—a Team Handbook for each Division as needed. Ensure compliance. Resolve vacancies, resource gaps, and interpersonal conflicts effectively.
  • Work with the S/T and ED to develop an appropriate annual budget for the Division.
  • Monitor spending within the Division’s budget. Approve/manage invoices, reimbursements, and grant dispersal.
  • Promote cave Conservation through best practice sharing, reporting on nationwide conservation projects, managing grants for conservation projects, supporting the NSS Conservation Task Forces, and developing or updating minimum impact caving protocols.
  • Respond to inquiries to the NSS Vandalism Deterrence Commission related to monetary awards for information leading to prosecution of vandals.
  • Coordinate and manage all activities on NSS Nature Preserves, including cave management, rescue plans, permitting, maintenance, and research permits.
  • Coordinate a team committed to improving Landowner relations and education (Landowner Relations Network).
  • Review and approve, if deserving, grants for scientific research and exploration projects.
  • Monitor, store, publish and manage the distribution of scientific data and information to stakeholders and membership (e.g., biological threats and prevention, regulatory changes, ongoing research studies).
  • Time required to execute these responsibilities will vary, but normally require ~10 hrs per week.


  • 3+ years of relevant work or volunteering experience, Bachelor's degree or higher preferred.
  • Ability to represent the organization professionally internally and externally.
  • Exceptional program leadership skills, with ability to create a vision and lead a team to deliver it.
  • Talented people manager, with a proven track record of successfully supporting high-performance from volunteer staff and indirect collaborators. Exceptional self-management and upward management skills.
  • Individual with a positive, affable, and approachable manner, who cares about the work of and the people on their team. Promotes a constructive and fun teamwork-oriented work environment.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with volunteer, remote teams within and across Divisions. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to engage effectively with internal and external stakeholders. Can resolve interpersonal conflicts within and across Committees and Divisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate strategic program needs and risks, taking the initiative to address them.
  • Action-oriented, flexible problem-solver with an ability to manage multiple varied teams, develop solutions to obstacles and resource gaps, embrace and communicate effectively through ambiguity, and drive task completion.
  • Willingness to roll up sleeves and ability to overcome barriers and setbacks.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to operate collaboratively in an online environment with coworkers using Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 Products.
  • Work experience (3+ years) in Cave Management, Science, or Conservation disciplines.
  • Knowledge of current research and trends relating to cave and karst conservation such as speleobiology, environmental science, geology, karst hydrology, land management, or similar study areas.


Please submit a resume to the NSS Board( A current and comprehensive LinkedIn profile is acceptable in place of a resume.

The NSS is committed to diversity and inclusion. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.